By Paula Smith
The Council on Aging (COA) is helping low‐income older adults get access to fresh fruits and vegetables through local farmers’ markets. Eligible older adults can enroll in the free U.S. Department of Agriculture Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP).
The program provides fresh, nutritious, unprepared locally grown fruits, vegetables, fresh cut herbs and honey through two dozen participating farmers’ markets and roadside stands. Older adults can enroll by attending one of 13 enrollment events being held by Council on Aging across its service area.
“Many low‐income older adults can’t afford to purchase the healthy fruits and vegetables that can be vital in helping them keep common chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease under control,” said Jennifer Lake, COA’s nutrition business relations partner. “Last year, more than 2,300 older adults benefited from the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program – our highest number yet.
“We’re excited to kick off the 2023 season and our goal is to see this program ‘grow’ even more!”
To be eligible, older adults must:
- Live in Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton or Warren counties.
- Be age 60 or older.
- Have an annual household income less than 185% of the poverty level (max annual income of $26,973 for 1‐person household or $36,482 for 2‐person household).
Each eligible person in a household may apply at Council on Aging enrollment events across its service area in April and May.
Older adults who would like to enroll must attend one of these events. Eligible older adults will receive $50 in coupons at the time of enrollment.
Coupons are redeemable at participating farmers’ markets through October 2023.
A list of enrollment dates and locations, as well as a list of participating farmers’ markets is available on Council on Aging’s website: www.help4seniors.org/farmersmarket.
Upcoming enrollment events
- April 14, 10:30 a.m.– 1:30 p.m., Over the Rhine Senior Center, 1720 Race St., Cincinnati
- April 18, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Oakley Community Center, 3882 Paxton Ave., Cincinnati
- April 19, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Clinton County Community Action Program, 789 N. Nelson Ave., Wilmington
A complete list of enrollment dates and locations is available on Council on Aging’s website: www.help4seniors.org/farmersmarket.
The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program is a federally funded program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Services Agency, and in Ohio, by the Ohio Department of Aging (ODA). ODA provides additional state funds to support the program’s operation within Ohio.
Council on Aging, located in Blue Ash, operates the program in its five‐county service area in southwestern Ohio.
COA promotes choice, independence, dignity and well‐being through a range of services that help people remain independent for as long as possible.
One call to COA links people to the wide variety of agencies, information and programs that serve older adults and people with disabilities.
COA egional Headquarters is at 4601 Malsbary Road, Blue Ash, OH 45242. Telephone 513‐721‐1025 or 1-800‐252‐0155. Website: www.help4seniors.org